Car and Driver
The Lexus RX series, now in its third generation, “sticks to the formula that made it a success” with its new hybrid version, the RX450h. The new version is “quieter, more powerful, more fuel-efficient, and possibly a smidge sportier” than the RX400. While its “droning” belt-drive transmission can be annoying, it’s “a struggle to find anything even resembling a deal-breaking fault” in this plush crossover.
Yes, “Lexus has done it again.” The 2010 RX450h “could be the ultimate package for those who want safety, comfort, style, performance, and functionality in their SUVs.” A new 3.5-liter engine, augmented by a three-motor electric hybrid system, improves driving performance. But passengers will be just as pleased to be ensconced in an interior “lathered with luxury froth and festooned with technical widgets.”
The new RX offers ”just the right amount of luxury” to maintain its head-of-the-class status among small SUVs. Changes include a new joystick console interface that’s “one of the most logical control systems we’ve ever encountered.” Unlike many hybrids, the RX450h is “fast and remarkably agile,” with a unique drive feature that allows extended electric-only operation at low speeds to improve fuel economy.